TERRORIZER #121 July 2004
THE RESTARTS - 'Actively Seeking Work' CD
The Restarts first crawled out of the North London Squat scene nearly a decade ago. Serial dole scroungers the lot of them, they named their band after the dreaded 'back to work' interviews and set about touting their stroppy four-chord punk to spiky-haired audiences around the world. Yelling out barbed diatribes against the state over chunky metal guitars, they've slowly but surely clawed their way to the top of the underground pile. Staying true to their punk ideals and more DIY than Homebase, The Restarts book their own tours, produce their own (outstanding) artwork, and stick with anti-corporate labels and promoters.
Put together in time for their recent US tour, this package of punkness comprises of early demos, the first two EP's and their half of the 'State Rape' split LP, plus a CD-Rom of 'No Confidence'. If you like it snotty but intelligent, hold back on the cider and stretch your Giro to a copy of this CD - or better still, check out their latest album 'System Error' which was released last year.

(7/10) Clara Wiseman


MAXIMUM ROCK N ROLL # 254 July 2004
THE RESTARTS - "System Error" LP
What can I say? What justice can I do this band? British through and thru. Take a
fucking lesson assholes, this is what street punk sounds like, except the RESTARTS aint a bunch of Hot Topic poseurs sucking a mythical English Wattie asshole. This is dance in the basement, spanner in the works, back porch drinking, bomb in the police station punk!!! I never knew Steve Ignorant had pregnancy-inducing sex with all of POISON IDEA, but this is some cute baby they had. Oh, also good people. They played at a house in West Oakland last month, and rocked us with energy and astounded us with their good manners! BUY!!! (JA)

(Havoc, PO Box 8585, Minneapolis, MN. 55408)


SLUG AND LETTUCE #77 Autumn 2003
Still going strong, these English punks keep the banner flying. Abrasive yet catchy UK punk with raw vocals and plenty of chorus sing a longs. The razor blade throated lead vocalist give this plenty of raw edge while through most of it the music has a much more uplifting energy to it. They throw in some straight forward rockin' parts and a few old-styled guitar leads as well. But this is a straight forward punk rock from this spikey punk trio. Oddly enough, it seems rare to come across the bands that play straight forward old-style punk rock and so this is a refreshing cause they've been at it for like a decade. Cheers guys. Good catchy shit. (Active Distribution, BM Active, London WC1N 3XX, England <www.activedistribution.org> <www.restarts.co.uk> ) (-Chris)


MAXIMUM ROCK N ROLL # 246 Nov 2003
Bruce Roehrs column:
System Error CD

The RESTARTS, from England, have a fucking slick new CD for you punks! The RESTARTS have managed to craft a catchy type of melodic punk without losing the punk rock venom you need to hold the kids' attention. The new CD is on Active Distribution and it is entitled System Error. The RESTARTS come out of the blocks with lots of momentum on the lead off tune, "Time Waster" and segue into "Walk Away", "Breaking My Balls" and the title cut, "System Error." Song number six brings together great punk guitar hooks and forceful lead vocals combined with harmonies. "Crucified" showcases the RESTARTS at the top of their game- you get blistering guitar leads, solid drum foundation, top flight bass playing and great choruses! The lyrics to "Crucified" are intelligent, read on: "Like blood that doesnt wash down your neck upon a block/ Events won't bring a stop, it's up against the clock/ And with no fence to sit up to your neck in it/ The scales are ever tipped to end under the whip/Either way, you're crucified." Very good!
The RESTARTS surge through "Age of Fear" and "Double Standards." Song number nine is a love song called "Wouldnt Wanna." The band sings, "I can't talk or communicate/ I can't give or reciprocate/ watch it all just disintegrate"-- such a romantic approach! Next up is "Never Know" and this one is followed by a strong punk tune called "Frustration." On "Frustration" the RESTARTS employ their two lead singers to the fullest. This is a superior punk product!
Write to Active Distribution, BM Active, London WC1N 3XX, England; www.activedistribution.org


LONDON PUNKS WEBSITE Dec 2003 http://www.londonpunks.co.uk/
THE RESTARTS - System Error CD
I seemed to have missed out on the Restarts previous releases including their last album. I've seen them play many times in London and always rated them pretty highly as a live band but never really got to hear their stuff on record yet. Things have changed now as I got a copy of their latest album. It seems I've been missing out on something very big. This album is the dogs bollocks! This goes right into my top 20 albums of all time I reckon. 12 songs of punk rock how it should be played. They seem to sometimes have a slight metal sound to some of their songs especially with the short 10 second metal type guitar solos (which only adds to the greatness of this cd).This is a political album, but not in your face as such, it's political but many of the political songs could be directed at many forms of corruptness and abuse in the system that controls us all, There's songs about weapons of mass destructions and also many songs which seem to be on a personal level to do with the walks and ways of life and the troubles which we face. My favourite track on the album is the last track called HOWS YOUR FATHER. Not for the lyrics but just the damn right catchiness of the song and the way the vocals are done. 
Great stuff from the Restarts here. 9/10
MAXIMUM ROCK N ROLL #242 July 2003
THE RESTARTS - "Slumworld-Dare to Stand Up and Break Free" LP
Let me tell you about love. Simple punk rock; good chorusus; occasional TRAGEDY-like vocals. Usually typical punk growling, Mixed with mind-blowing, genius words on topics of never-ending importance. These British cunts love life, and yet see the hatred inherent within it. They want to change our world into one of thoughtful, careful understanding. I believe they could do it. "We shall fight back. We shall never surrender." Get this. Communicate with them. Love them.
(Malarie, PO Box 153, 75661 Roznovpir, CZECH REPUBLIC)


PUNK SHOCKER #10 (Newcastle Fanzine)
THE RESTARTS/ BROKEN - Your World/Assassination of Mayor Giuliani Split E.P. (Magilla Guerilla)
Cheers to Mik for sending this 7" in. I caught the mighty RESTARTS at Brum punx picnic & they rocked the house down w/ their abrasive punk rock; plus cool covers of GG Allin & The DICKIES (not SABBATH) - yeah! Anyway, here are 3 new cuts, the production is tinny & the cover pic aint too clear, but out of it all THE RESTARTS come thr w/ all guns blazing. Raging punk rock w/ honest social commentary shows that THE RESTARTS are one class act! BOKEN produce groovy New Haven HC punk, sounding like a cross between early P.I. & DOOM - but not quite as classy. They attack fat zine writers (who? Trev?), the war on drugs & will be punx for life. As usual THE RESTARTS win another battle of the bands. (4/5 rating)


THE RESTARTS "...Just Gets Worse" 7" - Their first seven inch was incredible and this is a great follow up. I can't decide which is better, but in case you ain't heard 'em, they play fast punk with shouted choruses, guitar solos all over the place, with both Oi! and Dis- influences. How couldyou go wrong? Pessimistic political lyrics on the system, poverty and heroin...what else? "Mind Your Own Business" is a pogo-ey track that is one of the best songs appearing on any record reviewed this issue. The cover art is fuckin' awesome. They were also great live. So why don't you have this yet?
(Blind Destruction Records, Box 29, 82 Colston St.,Bristol, BS1 5BB, UK)


RESTARTS - "Frustration" EP
It's really cool to see a "leather, bristles..." band come out of the U.K. than the more frequent and popular "boots and braces" types. The RESTARTS play a wide range of U.K. styles from the DISCHARGE-like "Delerium Tremens" to the more oi stylings of "Fuck The Lottery" and "Frustration", with the more chaotic sound reminiscent of the best of DISORDER or CHAOS U.K. thrown in for good measure. So if you like your music"loud, political and uncompromising" or love the school of "noise not music" than you'll be excited as I am about this disc. (EY)
(Blind Destruction Records, Box 29, 82 Colston St.,Bristol, BS1 5BB, UK)


RESTARTS Frustration 7"
With ex members of Coitus, Armed and Hammered, and Assrash UK, it was no surprise that the RESTARTS kick-ass!! All three members share the vocals and each deliver them powerfully. Lyrics about life out side the system and against the lottery have their anger and "Frustration" amplified when accompanied by the mid paced, hard, heavyand, tight musical talent. These guys plan to tour the US this summer!...I can't wait (duke)
(Blind Destruction Records)


Apart from the fact that this band have Satanic leanings this is a bloody classic E.P. All good. satan...I mean Kieran sounds like the bloke from the Casualties. The best track on offer here is the title track. I question their motives on "Fuck The Lottery" as I'm sure if I had won and was found in a pub with them in it, I dont think they would snub me do you? Lets hope it happens. (Staf)



Questions were asked by Ainstain from Back To the Boots Distro

K=Kieran. D=Darragh R=Robin
there are maybe still some people out there that dont know you, so on with the typical (and boring) "who are you, what are you doing, where do you come from, when you prefer shitting and (most important) which soap you use for your hairstyling?!" stuff

K: Okay we are The Restarts, punk rock outfit based in East London , formed in 1995, three piece, politically grounded, motivated by anger and disaffection. All three of us sing to add diversity to our vocal sound. We have all lived in London for quite a few years now but originally I come from (just outside) Vancouver, Canada. If I have a head full of hair I will use Imperial leather soap but when i have a mohawk I use hairspray to stay stiff!...hehe.
D: Im darragh , drummer -i come from dublin , but have lived in london these past fifteen years , My favourite shit time is post breakfast , only then i am ready to take on the day ahead 's proceediings . I dont use soap so much these days when I do its always imperial leather, its smells good and always gives the best result and texture needed for punk rock hair-when its not raining.
R: Hi, I'm Robin, I'm the 'new' guitarist for the Restarts. I'm Dutch, 24 years old, prefer shitting after breakfast, use Tesco hairspray (which still does it's job when it's raining) and my interests are bicycles, guitars, my cat and my girlfriend.
there was two changes in the last year in the band and both at guitar (mik => alan => robin)... i always thought you are like these old retired couples that sits for 70 years on the same parkbench until one of them dies and then for the other one also everything is over...

but, after mik leaves (god (or whom ever) bless him - what is he doing now?!), the restarts wont stop (what was big rumour last year at pula festival)... just talk a little bit about the changes in the band!
K: Yes we thought the same, thats why we faced such a dilemma as to whether we should continue or not...Mik either just lost interest in being in the band or the band direction...he has never really said, so we just accepted his decision and then eventually arrived to the conclusion that we wanted to continue with the band, as it represents a platform that three different individuals can share....especially with the term 'Punk Rock' being used too liberally these days...we need to lend assistance to help define what 'punk rock' really means! Alan originally joined the band in May and did the recording with us, but due to his prior commitments with the UK Subs we found it impossible for him to be able to gig with both bands. He did play Mannheim and Geissen with us back in May, but that was his last live performance with us.
R: I can't really tell you a lot about that just that I'm happy to play in the  Restarts and still think Mik's a fuckin good guitarist and I hope I'm doin his 'job' well.
in my opinion robin does his job very well (also when "some people" say it is his fault if "somebody" forgets to sing ;) )
how the hell did he learn all these songs in such a short time (the first gig of your europe tour in potsdam was the fourth for him,and in bremen you played at least one hour!)

R: I'm actually surprised about that myself. Of course I knew the Restarts before I joined them but most of the songs I had to learn I didn't have at home and half of 'em were new songs so I was just playin them at home for about a week and did 2 rehearsals in that
week and after that we had our first gig in London. When we went to Europe I'd been in the band for about a month and got really into it. Some comments though from people were that I wasn't singin a lot but that was just because I hadn't had the time to learn lyrics.
again about robin: what is this mysterious illness that forces you to think about chips
[*1] all around the clock?!
==>[*1] pommes or fries for the rest of europe, freedom fries in the U$$A

R: I'm not too sure actually. I think it's because when I'm on holiday or on tour I get curious about the mayonaise and chips in that place and when I start thinkin about that I get hungry. I hardly eat any chips when I'm in London, mainly because the mayonaise here tastes absolutely crap.
last time about robin: what about the age difference between you three? can the two old farts handle the young chicken?! are there sometimes sayings like "i could be your father, my son!"?

R: Yeah there is a gap of about 10 years I think between me and Kieran and Darragh but I don't think it's an issue really. I mean when we talk about movies or TV series they talk about things I sometimes have never heard of and they are surprised by that but at the end of the day I think age doesn't matter.
you are a complete international band (kieran from canada, daragh from ireland, robin from holland), what do you think about patriotism and specialy about patriotism in punk (what seeming to become popular in (east) germany)?

K: It dont fucking belong in punk rock, punk rock has now ascended to an international level, so it is paramount to dispell the myths of patriotism! Embrace cultural diversity and compare notes on social struggles around the world and learn from it...obsessing about ones own cultural heritage means you are blinding yourself to other issues going on around you. It is not wrong to be proud of your family, ancestry or even your heritage, but when blind patriotism in a flag (which never truly represents a nation) becomes more important! thats the shit that fuels racism, imperialism, and ultimately WAR!
D: Patriotism is a dangerous thing ; I have no problem with cultural pride and identity but when you take it too far -people get killed and war isnt too far behind
R: I think that's stupid. In my opinion it doesn't matter where someone was born or where someone lives. It's stupid to be proud of 'your' country cos it's not yours in the first place. I'm Dutch but I'm not proud of Holland and I live in London but I'm not proud of that.  In London there are loads of 'international' punx living from all over the world and everyone is sort of getting along with each other and that's what I like about the punkscene here.
you point directly out what you think about fascism, homophobia/sexism, genetechnics, george blairs and tony bushs (the idiot son of an asshole) politics. what do you think about OI! and so called unpolitical punks & skins, or the "punks not red" movement?

K: I think punk will always be divided in into sub catagories, it is ineviteable! Punk represents alot of different things to alot of people. From its inception punk was up for grabs so people took their little piece of it and created their own offshoot or scene. Thats why Punk as a general term can represent such polar opposites as GG Allin and Crass, Beerzone to Harum Scarum. I know where my allegiance lies and am not going to waste my time addressing issues such as these "punks not red" people, as it seems pretty futile that they want an unpolitical alternative to a movement that was a blatanty political from its birth.
D: I dont know shit about this punks not red movement -but the title is a very sad indictment on how things are going. I cant slag oi itself off ; for me there are some great bands i love that are considered oi (cock sparrer, toy dolls Etc) but when they say theyre not political it seems like an excuse to bypass airing views that are maybe in some way dodgy ? On the other hand you get people that are too political , when you cant say what you want ,eat what you want -Do things you want cos its not anarcho politically correct you become your own worst enemy to the cause you claim to represent .
R: Everyone I know and drink with is against fascism. I don't wanna have anything to do with fascist scumbags and I think it's stupid to be unpolitical cos it's not very different from being a fascist. I know some people who are totally not interested in what our lyrics are about and just like our music but if you ask 'em what their opinion is about fascism they'll tell you they're against it without thinkin twice. I do like some Oi! music though and there's political Oi! as well, but at the end of the day nothing can beat the good old punkrock, innit?!
in 2003 you hit 3 times (or more?) germany and three times berlin - two "short trips" and the europe tour. why? i mean, do you like it over here? if yes, why? what is the difference to the german/english and the berlin/london scene?

K: yes i have to admit...I think Berlin has a great punk scene. We had a busy summer over there didnt we....July was the first gig we played (with Robin) for over 9 months so when we let people know we were gigging again we kind of got a few offers. We knew about the October gig first but knew that we couldnt tour around then as Darragh is in full time studies, so we decided to tour Europe in August (to coincide with the release of our new CD). The difference between London and Berlin is notably the price! It is so much cheaper for us in Berlin beer/food/transport/taxis/flights and plus the well known fact that bands get looked after so well in Germany.The scene in berlin seems a little bit more diverse, which seems to inject a more creative strain that is quite visible in the various squats we have visited there.
D: Its like this ...I dont like shit beer , shit food , shit organisation, thats why germany rocks !
R: I love Berlin. I've only been there 3 times so far, the 1st time was the Rauchhaus gig but I really like it. I can't really explain why. I think it's the atmosphere. I feel a lot safer walkin around in Kreuzburg than walking around in fuckin Hackney. It also looks like half of the population of Kreuzburg are punx and the rest a mixture between hippies
and people who work in those beautiful food places, the food there is so good, and there's so much choice and it's so much cheaper than London. The food in London is shit. And the beer is very good in Germany. And there are so many places to go for a night out, so many squat-bars with friendly people.
did people talking stupid shit to you cause you sometimes fly to your gigs (e.g. mannheim(?) or the kopi party this year)?something like "jetsetpunx"? and than you also played the benefit gig for the SO36 at the rauchhaus/berlin 08.08.03...
are you yuppies, fuddy-duddy/squares, traitors and commercial pigs now?! i, as one of the organizers of this gig, had to listen to some very braindamaged stories...

D: if you ever fly ryanair -you know its definitely not jetset ! To be honest know one has ever said this to me -
K: no we actually havent heard any of this first hand, the flights are so cheap that it actually is cheaper for the concert organiser to fly us out, but yes it does feel a bit weird that we have flown to over four different gigs this summer. The whole thing with the SO36 benefit was quite strange. We had both sides of the story explained to us, explaining how the SO36 operates as a collective and is primarily run by punks, but at the same time serves as a more professional venue to accomodate a wider variety of acts etc ...so in comparison to London where we have no such alternative, if we want to see a band who are somewhat commercially successfull we would have to go to one of several venues (all owned by the "mean fiddler" ). This guy basically has the whole of London in a stranglehold, any band say from Agnostic front to the Cramps or Poison Idea we will have to see them at either The Garage or the Astoria which are total commercial rip off venues! We were asked "Why the Restarts should do this benefit and not some more commercial band?" to which i respond, we are friends with people who work in SO36 and felt that it was a good cause, we would do the same if we were asked to play a benefit for for the Kopi. There will ALWAYS be critics over every decision that is made with in punk rock, I think at some stage you just have to accept this, in a way it is good as it makes you think carefully about the decisions you are making. In another sense some of the most outspoken critics are people who tend to invest no energy of their own into trying to better the scene. Are we now yuppies, commercial pigs? haha I can honestly say that over our 8 years in existence we have never made one penny in profit! Which tests you to the furthest limits as to why you continue in this non money making venture( for the love of it obviously)...then to have someone call you a commercial pig....dems fightin words!
R: No one's really told me anything like that. I think I've been called plastic punk when we played Rauchhaus but I couln't see who that was and couldn't ask that person why he/she called me that, not that I really care. At the end of the day a flight from that cheap Irish airway company (I don't mean that patriotic or anything, I just don't wanna advertise Ryanair in this interview) is way cheaper than to travel by coach or train, that's the main reason why and it only takes an hour and a half to get there and the airport is close to Hackney and close to Ainstains gaff.
do you regret to play this gig? did you feel un-informed before about the reason of this benefit gig? do you feel a little bit used and ripped off?

K: We were warned that some people would complain about it...but didnt realise it was that big of an issue. We came out of it unscathed, and in the end you have to trust your friends judgments, so from knowing the organisers for quite some years now, we had faith that they knew what they were doing. I dont feeled ripped off or uniformed.
D: No we had a good time , internal politics of it just doesnt concern me !
R: No I don't regret it, I really enjoyed the gig, I mean it's true that we didn't get informed about what kinda gig it would be but you know, everyone's got their own opinion about that. I don't know enough about the SO36 to have an opinion about it, I've never been there, so I can't say anything about it.
your new record "system error" kicks me out of my sox, when i listen first time i thought "ok, restarts, cool like ever, but a little hmmm, polished", but after each listening to it iam getting more and more hoggish and listened more than once a day... it was the same with the new SHOCKS record... i know them also from their beginning (96?) and followed the development a little bit closer - from the snotty 4 or 8 track recording in the practiceroom till the big, well mixed studiorelease. seems to be equal for the restarts: the first two singles has the flair of the good old 80th "basement punk" and the last two long players are damned professionel...
where did you go? would you sometime lock yourself in a studio for months, letting your hair and beards grow, feed upon hashish and LSD to get a reincarnation of CAN or DOORS?! ;)

K: ha ha... okay first off let me say that ironically this recording was alot cheaper than all our other recordings, we did it digitally so what we were saving in recording costs we could allow ourselves time to get the songs right, instead of the usual mad rush to get all the bed tracks and guitar tracks done in one or two days! A friend of ours in Hackney has built a digital studio in his flat and charged £40 a day (which compared to the usual £250/day) was amazing. this meant we could spend alot more time in the studio spread out over a couple of weeks. where as before if you made a mistake you would just have to live with it as you couldnt afford to go into another days worth of recording. No LSD was used in the making of our last album.
D: the new album is the cheapest to produce compared to all other recordings-It was recorded on a budget hard disk recording studio console -but i know what you mean it does sound a bit polished. We "ll try harder next time ok -
R: I wasn't in the band when 'System Error' got recorded so I can't answer this one.
I myself cant say what i prefer the old, rough sound, or the new, better produced one... what do you feel about this? sometimes a littel bit wishfulnesses to wet cellars, i mean to ethnic/lusty (<==is this the right translation?!) sound? or does the heart of the musician and the search for (a kind of) "perfection" beat louder?

K: Thats a hard one to answer, I dont think any band can continually perpetuate their original sound (or recording) they usually have to take it through many levels or stages as they progress and grow with each other (God I sound like a fucking hippy!!!). The ironic thing with punk bands is that as you continue to play for years you unfortuantley learn how to ACTUALLY play your intrument, so sometime this takes away from the rawness and pure anger that is conveyed through punk music. I feel though that if your anger is still genuine sometimes the sound becomes more refined but the underlying intent still remains. Poison Idea are a good example of this, compare Pick your King to Feel the Darkness...they are both brillaint but the latter being much more highly polished! I dont in anyway think we are as talened musicians as Poison Idea btw, just an example.
D: me too i love old raw recordings like early black flag or the first crucifucks album but i also love well produced stuff too like turbo negro ;so i guess we should try bridge the difference between the >> two.
R: I'm happy with the sound of 'System Error', according to the rest it was really cheap to record it so why go for a rusty sound when you can get a 'perfect' sound for the same price. I think it's the music that does it in the end anyway.
when "system error" will be released as vinyl? i heard SKULD RELEASES will do it, or?!
K: Yes Skuld Releases have said they will do the vinyl version of it, I believe he is very busy at the moment, but Im hoping before xmas.

D:still trying to sort that detail out !
in germany vinyl is much more prefered then CDs (me too!). is it in england vice versa? or saying the question different, is this the reason why "slumworld" and "system error" first came out on CD and long time later as vinyl?
D: In england the CD is way more available than on vinyl.Yes is the obvious answer.
K: Yes I think people are ok with CDs in the UK, I too prefer vinyl for the artwork etc but am okay with buying CDs. Active distro doesnt like to press LPs too much(although he does distribute it!), as he literally doesnt have the space to accomodate this in his Flat. So on both our last releases Active did them and then we had other labels do the vinyl version of it.
as we just talked about the SHOCKS: do you know their musik? and personal? do you want to do a gig with them? or a split record?

D: We played our first show in Aachen about five years ago with the shocks , where they blew me away and have since been a huge Shocks fan . That night we partied until Mad Allen the organiser went fucking ballistic all night until the cops came around to confiscate his stereo.Also this was the first gig I had seen where the organiser was the main troublemaker : going around starting fight and chucking beer over people who he made eye contact with.Great night !
K: yes we have played with the Shocks, I think they are brilliant, they seem to capture that original true punk spirit, and not in some trendy retro way, they are the real element. would love to gig with them and/or do a split with them!
R: I didn't know them untill I you played theyre album. I really like 'em. My sister bought an album of them and puts it on loud every day and they sound fuckin great. A gig or split? Yeah, anytime.
there is no doubt that you are a part of the D.I.Y scene, did you maybe be afraid of you (hard-earned) success and that you maybe change youself? that it maybe sometime itch in the fingers to play in big venues for the right amount of money, even if the audience isnt that what you like?

K: If you measure success through financial terms I dont think we are very successfull (as we are skint) but apart from that I dont think we would be changed by our popularity increasing, if anything it drives you to continue. I personally hate playing bigger venues...stuff me in some damp cellar with punks falling all over the stage...thats true punk mayhem to me...fuckin love it!
D: Its a good question as its an age old problem -We look at it like this -we keep creative control bottom line , its like our own so thats the most important , when you go through management , promoters and bigger venues you lose alot of that , It becomes a business not pleasure arrangement -on the reverse of that , To survive as a band you need to make it a business for organising , recording & touring , so suffice it to say that we are our own bosses and we remain DIY through choice and logistics .
R: I love this DIY scene. I play for fun cos I really enjoy it and the money we get for it isn't important (fuckin hell that sounds cheesy as fuck!!) but it's the truth. I love playin in squats just as much as I love to go and see bands playin in squats. It's just a really honest punkrock scene.
I am no friend of total selfexploitation, minimum profit is that broken equipment maintenance and rental for the practice space will come back into a bands cash box from gigs and record sales... what is your point of view? did D.I.Y for you mean total dedication and self exploitation.

D: Kieran time to give your tuppence worth !
K: ...dont mind if I do Darragh...hmmm what I think you are asking...is what/how does the DIY thing work for us, well the whole thing operates on a very low profit margin, its like perpetually living on borrowed credit. This in a way actually allows you to get out there and do it, where as prior to punk you would have to wait to be "discovered" by a record label to be "employed" by them and put through their promotional machine etc. After we add up all our costs rehearsal/recording/petrol/travel/time off work balanced with how much we take in it always inevitably amounts to zero! So do I see this as self exploitation...no, it allows us a vehicle to express yourself through the punk rock medium. But again I have discussed with other bands and listened in on their internal debates and it always boils down to the same thing....its really hard to continue touring and playing for nothing, you begin to feel like a charity (sometimes) .People dont understand, they see a crowded venue and think hey they must be making loads of money, but they dont realise you played to 11 people the night before after driving 400 km etc... but thats the farthest from the truth. I dont know, I think I will keep doing this forever only from fear of becoming one of those people who say" Oh yeah I used to be in a band..." and you think, well how come you arent anymore? that makes me sad...because it indicates that maybe the DIY thing isnt working. I dont wanna become one of those people that says that.
R: It's nice to be able to cover expenses like travel, beer, studio costs etc by money we get for gigs but even without it I would still do it.
i heared that you maybe go next year over the ocean for an U$$A tour, is it true? what do you expect of it? how does it work? is there a booking agency that organized everything, or is it a D.I.Y tour, like your europe tours? in what kind of venues will you play?

D: Let me tell you this at the moment nothing is organised so we know as little as you do!
K: Yes but if we do play the USA in march it will be DIY, and it operates usually the same as in Europe (minus all the free beer) but the venues can be basements in houses, community centres, to the more well known venues in the larger cities. We wont go through a booking agent but we will use people who set up the gigs, so they are like unofficial booking agents.
R: Yeah that's the plan, but it's not completely set up yet. We still got a lot of things to discuss. We're talkin about it with Scott, who organized the Strychnine tour in Europe last August and he's up for organizing a tour in the U$$A for us. I haven't got a clue what to expect. I've never left Europe before in my life and have only seen pictures of the U$$A on
telly. I don't know what venues we'll be playin in either.
i videotaped some of your gigs this year (potsdam/archiv, berlin/rauchhaus, berlin/koma f, bremen/bob, berlin/köpi). if i edit a nice 60 min. video out of it, wouldt you like to distribute it? or didnt you like that kind of "being cult", rockstar stuff, etc...?

D: personally I wouldnt want it distributed , I hate watching video recordings of gigs -its like count the mistakes and cringe time !
K: Wow that would be cool, yeah we would like to distribute it, I dont think that it is being "rock star" attitude to sell video footage of yourselves, again it only serves as part of the DIY machine to help you fund your touring costs. Feel free to leave all the drumming mistakes in but please omit all the bass errors ... ; ).
R: Yeah, I think that would be nice. Or maybe we could just put it on the website or something (I don't know if that's possible)?
kieran, what maybe the fewest know (and what will maybe change after this interview - if you want it to be published with this question) is that you are gay, you dont hide yourself, but also dont make a big thing out of it like many people jumping the the hip-gay-train to have their coming out hourly. did you have negative experiences when socalled "punx" realised that you are gay?

K: I prefer the term queer over Gay ...but no it was quite minimal, it of course was a topic on the gossip circuit, but that is to be expected. The only negative feedback is second hand, no one has ever confronted me negatively about my sexuality. Some people have said to me " I defended your name to some people that were slagging you off" which tells me that people somewhere ARE slagging me off, but they obviously dont say it to my face. On the other hand some people came up to me and told me how they 'used' to be homophobic, but my coming out made them re-evaluate their opinions on how they viewed Queers, so thats kind of a nice feeling.
in berlin there is a relative big gay-punk scene (look at www.gay-punk.de) that also express themself to the public. thats why here the integration between hetero and homo punx is kind of "normal" and relaxed. what about london? is it similar? did you have negative or positive experiences in other parts of germany/europe with homophobic assholes? did it bother you if people (specialy punx) use "gay" as a dirty and degrading word? (it bothers me as an hetero)

K: No | havent had too many bad experiences in Europe or the UK, I think generally it is accepted in London, but is still two very seperate scenes at the moment, I would still like to see it more mixed at punk gigs in london.Yes it does kind of bother me that the word gay is used as a metapohor for something that is 'weak' or 'inferior' but this is communication that has been tainted by this bigotry. Its odd as alot of people who use these terms arent actually conciously being homophobic, they are just being unaware, and indirectly disrespectful. My sister who is a teacher in Vancouver is constantly challenging her students who are always saying " dude that is so GAY" or "shut up you fag" its like they arent even aware of the meaning of the word. If I do challenge someone about using that term, most of the time they are unaware that it may be offending someone, it gets very tiring after a while.
XQ28 is about the search of the "gay-gene", could you explain it for the inclined reader?

K: This songs talks about the whole concept of people wanting "designer babies", the (arrogant) concept of genetically profiling your unborn child genetic make up and altering its DNA so that it would be "healthy", "strong", " intelligentt", "free from disease", " male or female"...and ultimately having a say in their resulting sexuality (see the film Gattaca)! This is not quite a reality yet but this is the avenue that genetic research is heading down! They are calling the Gay gene 'XQ28' this pinpoints the x chromosome configuration found prevalently amongst gay people (the majority of research carried out on twins to identify the hereditary link). The tests are inconclusive but what I find compelling is the moral slant at which the research is conducted, its almost as if they are viewing homosexuality as a "sickness" ...that they are trying to "cure"? As if to say people of alternative sexualities are 'genetically impure' or 'defective'. Some people believe that we all have the capacity to be gay but that it only comes out in certain people, whilst others believe it is genetically inherited, whether these are learned traits or not is up to speculation, but science is determined to view this as a hereditary trait.The song speaks of how society views homosexuality, on one hand it appears to be be generally accepted (openly gay tv celebrities/musicians, same sex partnerships being recognised etc) but then in contrast you have section 28 legislation (Thatchers legacy...) that bans any local authorities from promoting homosexuality (ie : support groups/education etc). Section 28 is set to be repealed ie: scrapped (as voted on in the House of Lords recently ) but that doesnt mean that the bigots responsible for this bill arent still lurking in the 'corridors of power'. With these sentiments lingering about how would society react (hypothetically of course) if people could genetically identify if their unborn child as gay or not? I think it would parallel the problems in China; due to the 'one child per family' laws people use ultra sound scans to determine the unborn childs sex, if its a girl they choose to abort, (to avoid dowery costs)... a blatant abuse of modern technology not to mention human rights violations!
some message for the homophobic idiots?!

D: That you probably are gay yourself and all this outwardly projected hatred is really just your own subliminal self loathing!
K: I think Darraghs point may be true in some cases but alot is due to the fear of the unknown, its about education and exposure, most extremely homophobic people dont actually know ANY gay people... in this day and age you should be focusing your fears against what really threatens your access to freedom...and to not give a shit if two guys(girls) want to kiss each other...I mean c'mon, its the fuckin 21st century!!
you will start you interferon therapy against the hepatitis c on monday (when this is out in public you will stuck in the middle of the mess). because i survived this HELL successfuly in 2001 and 2002, i know what you expect the next 12 month. will this therapy effect the restarts? i mean, could it be that you will have to quit the band next year (what i could understand very well)? or do you want to push your body to the limit and try "to be normal"? maybe there will be effects to the songs (i became very depressed because of this chemical warfare against my body)? by the way who writes the restarts songs?

D: Kieran takes care of this one methinks !
K: Yes have started it this week, and is pretty nasty indeed, but for me seems to be my only hope to cure my sanity and health! Yes it will be a strain on the Restarts, that why we want to set up this tour in the States tentativley, as my health may deteriorate to the point where i cant tour, for this we will have to wait and see. Who knows what will happen with our song writing, maybe i will sink into some depressed kind of slumber (our next album might sound like joy division...?) The songs are written by all three of us, Darragh and me wrote System Error, and Robin has expressed interest in getting in on the song writing.
many people/punks dont know nothing about hepatitis c (hcv), but its an very wide spread (and deadly) virus infection (maybe a little compareable with aids/hiv). you dont even have to be part of a high risk group to get the virus (i get it maybe while a fight/brawl). its scary that it can be nearly too late till you recognise the first serious symptoms, nobody will do a bloodtest for HCV and people running around for ages infecting other people...
did you have a message for the readers? something like "do a regulary bloodtest for HIV and HCV"?
I have been saying this for ages, but nobody is really listening to an old fart like me, this topic is maybe to abstract for the most people...
but maybe they listen to you, cause you are a rockstar! hehehe

K: Yes they call it the timebomb virus, as most people just arent aware of it and the ones who are ...dont seem to be worried about it. If people who carry the virus (usually unaware) continue with their lifestyles,they will inevitabely find themselves extremely sick in mid life, your liver (apart from your heart and brain) is quite likely the most important organ in your body.You have to respect your liver! Yes its fun to get pissed, but not if that means you are escalating yourself towards an early death! I have talked with a lot of friends who are in high risk catagories (have tattoos/piercing, iv drug use, unprotected rough sex)... but still they are like, "yeah, maybe i should get tested..." but they dont. Most queers I know who are sexually active tend to get tested alot as part of a general sexual health regime, but most of the straight people I know would never visit a sexual health clinic unless the had weeping sores all over their privates! It has a very low transmission rate through sex (about 2%) but the important thing is awareness, its very important to take your personal health into your own hands. Get checked for everything and insist on HCV, what harm will it do to know?Most cities offer some kind of anonymous testing, if that is the problem to you, and if they dont offer it just give a fake name at a drop in clinic? and if you use IV drugs DONT share needles/spoons/filters/syringe water with anyone else...even if it is with your sexual partner!
now something (for me) important - computer and internet...
first, I really like your homepage (www.restarts.co.uk), its worth a look at! but its made complete in flash, that means people with old browsers or textmode browsers, (people with eye handicaps, etc. cant get the information from you site... whats also a little bit annoying is, that it is impossible to copy lyrics, tour dates and pictures - and like you write on the lyrics page "typing sucks dude"
so, when do you change the site to HTML format?

K: ...*cringes* Okay Okay I get your drift, because I havent mastered html very well , I find it easier to do everything in Flash (which I know quite well), but I have now come to the realisation that it is inconvenient for a percentage of browsers. and I am going to change to a more html based format for the basic info, tour dates, gigs ,lyircs etc and just have the otherstuff in flash, or maybe just make a mirror site with just html. Okay you can now hold this as evidence in a court of law...if I dont come follow through with this promise!
whom is the geek of the restarts? and who makes the fantastic artwork?

K: Geek? I make the artwork and webstuff (mik also used to do some of the illustration), Darragh masters in sound editing and recording knowledge and video editing...Robin, he just breaks all the girls hearts!
D: I am a geek but have no geek like computer literacy !
like everybody can see at the cover/booklet of the "system error" CD and at the lyrics of the titeltrack and "timewasters", you deal with computer, internet and digital communication.
for many people in the so called left scene see computers and technology as some kind of violation and think of it as somekind of taboo. most of them are satisfied if they find the power button and then write their "anti mc donalds" flyer with "micro$oft word", others demonise (computer) technics completely (which i dont understand) and only a small number really deal intensively with computers/internet and use this medium for themselves in a positive way (and because of that they know about the threat of technological domination and can do something against it).what kind are you?

K: I see the computer as a tool that can be used to your advantage, of course it is a tool used to control and keep us in line, but if you get into it and make it work for you, it can become very valuable! I hav'nt learned as much about program building as you have but I can see the advantages of self empowerment. I use computers mostly for communication/information/artworking/illustration and a small amount of webdesign. Im afraid I havent learned enough about programming etc that I would like to...but there is always the future.
D: I love computer technology -But however I am wary and concerned about its application to adversely restrict and control peoples personal freedom, It all depends on how technology is applied it can either make us or break us.
R: I think computers and the internet can come in very handy to keep in touch with people all over the world, I don't know a lot about 'em but since we got one in our gaff since a week I'm learning to use it and to make sites and stuff. I know there are people who use 'em in a negative way but you can do that with everything, you can use a guitar in a negative way or a bicycle, you can even eat chips in a negative way.
minimum one of you is a mac user (look at the keyboard on the back of the system error CD), outing please!

K: I m a mac user.Its what I learned on and am more comfortable with the user interface etc.
D: I am also a mac user ,
R: I haven't had a computer long enough to understand this question but I'm sure Kieran or maybe Darragh know what you're on about.
macs are a little bit exotic, but apple also isnt a "social" company (no loss of words about the practices of M$), do you ever think about the "better alternative" linux/unix, or did you ever inform yourself about "open source"? what do you think about it?

K: Open source is something that sounds very interesting, the idea being that it operates on a file sharing, knowledge sharing basis sounds pretty cool...and almost revolutionary, but Im am not going to pretend I am versed in this info, I need to do some more reading into it. This could well be a platform for the future! Down with Microsoft!
D: macs exotic ? Well for audio visual and graphics -macs are the best , more stable and user friendly-the linux however is very well supported for my kind of applications -ie video and sound editing etc
R: same answer as question 29 I'm affraid...
open source is a software model that is already converted successfully to other stuff (e.g. books and music). it doesnt mean - as many people by error think - that everything is free like for no money, but means that everybody should have free access to everything, freedom of information. i think its a very political and anarchistic model.
people are trying to put this model also on society. last year there was a conference in berlin called "oekonux", and everything i heared and read about it sounds very interesting and could be a good and modern endorsement to old anarchist theories.
what do you think about such theories? so you support open source (software etc.)? is there in england also a big open source / linux community like in germany?

K: I havent found one as of yet, but again I havent really been searching. I think it is important to bring these things to light though, as computer are now so ingrained in our everyday lives that they are starting to alter how we think and perceive problems. The song System Error draws on the comparisons between a computer operating system and the systems we use to run our cities. They both often have kinks and bugs that need ironing out. Sometimes the best solution is a Total Clean Install...wipe the slate clean and start from scratch! People who reject computer technology as the "evil tentacles" of 'The Man' spying into our homes are people who are just willing to sit back and let the Authorities master the techniques of these tools AGAINST us...on the other hand if we know how to utilise them better...we win! Its a race against time kiddies! This Open Source community sounds very interesting indeed!
last but least, what do you think about p2p filesharing

K: I think its great! its fucking revolutionary, to able to share your music/software/images/mpegs all over the world...bring it on!
D: I love p2p file sharing , its here to stay !
did you think that p2p filesharing is really bad for the music industry? or is their business problem homemade (prices to high, boring actors, loveless cd booklets)?

K: well to quote an old saying " Its only killing what deserves to be killed!" Its such a load of bullshit, I still to this day HATE Metallica for launching the campaign against Napster...those fucking pricks! like it was taking a cut out of their lifestyle! Its a blatant reflection on how our society is based on greed, not wanting to see anybody benefit in a small way without PAYING top price for it. Now when I see those assholes reinventing themselves on commercial music scene it makes me want to vomit, trying to act all angry and full of attitude...who the fuck are you trying to kid?
D: Yes I think its real bad for the music industry , its like mass consumer revenge for years of over priced bullshit .
for punkbands (and i dont talk about the big commercial "punk"bands) p2p filesharing could be an ideal plattform to become known all over the world. i myself downloaded a lot of stuff that I've never heard before and that is impossible to get in other ways, or what you cant buy anymore, because it will never be rereleased. and i still believe in the good inside punk and think that a lot of people will buy the original record if they have the posibility (e.g. on gigs) and money...
what do you think about this?
do you like it or not if your music will be shared over p2p filesharing?
would you think you or the label will lose money?

K: yes I totally love it, and its the same thing I hear time after time, if someone heres your music from file sharing and they really like it they will ultimatley want to go to the source and buy your cd from you directly. For us smaller punk bands it is a totally unique way to get your music out there, and the chances that someone would download your stuff and start to get into you is great! Free advertising...and to those oportunists who think they could download your stuff and try to sell it for profit...well...it just wouldnt work would it, the punks would totally cop on to that shit!
D: I totally aggree with your statement ... Yes p2p sharing forever and ever-if people really like it they will buy the cd anyway... The label will lose money but if it means more people out there who like your stuff i think its a price well worth paying
R: Ahaa, so p2p filesharing is putting your music on the internet so everyone could download it? Is that it? Yeah that's cool, especially if everyone would do that. It's true that we'll probably sell less CD's but we'll buy less as well from other bands who fileshare as well. It could be the end of musicdistro's though but they'll probably concentrate on other merch like shirts, patches, badges, and maybe socks?! At the moment not that many people I know know how to download music. I just found out a couple of days ago meself. And some people would prefer to get a vinyl anyway, even if they could download it.
did i forget something?!

D: no you did not !
K: ...your house keys?
dont know

[36] last words?
D: thank you Ainstain for your help and hospitality;take good care and hello to all in berlin and beyond !
K: Yes cheers for all yours and Sarahs help over the years...keep up the punk faith...DIY or DIE!
R: I just like to thank everyone who has helped us during the tour and our other visit and cheers for letting us stay at your gaff Ainstain and Sarah and hopefully till soon. I really enjoyed the Kopi fest and I'm definately comin back next year, if we're playin or not! See you, Robin.
I want to say thanks to you four (incl. mik) for the nice hours that you gave me! i dont regret not a second that i spent on your countless gigs or a penny i spend on your music! and that, damned shit, i dont say often!!
all the best and that you will always be punkrock!

D: Punkrock -its all we know and we aint going anywhere !
K: ...coming from someone that I have a huge amount of respect for...that is a great compliment! cheers